Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Rod holders are a great support when fishing and help to take the strain off your arms by resting the rod on the rod holder. They vary in quality, size and function.

Depending on whether you need a rod holder for your boat or a rod holder for the river, you can choose between four types of rod holders: Fire rod holders, boat rod holders, rod pods or ground spikes.

Our big rod holder test 2022 should help you to make your decision when buying a rod holder easier. We have compared the various rod holders with each other and given you our recommendations. To make it easier for you to decide between the different types, we have listed the advantages and disadvantages of each type of rod holder.




Summary

  • Rod holders are tools that allow you not to have to hold the fishing rod for a long period of time while fishing.
  • There are four types of rod holders: ground rods, boat rod holders, surf rod holders and rod pods. They all differ in their range of use and price range.
  • Ground rods are particularly suitable for bottom fishing. Boat rod holders can be used if you use a canoe, kayak or boat when fishing. If you are out at sea or encounter firm or too soft ground, then surf rod holders and rod pods would be suitable for you.

The Best Rod Holder: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for rod holders

In this chapter we show you what to look for when buying a rod holder.

The criteria with which you can compare the rod holders are listed below:

In the following, we explain a little more about the individual criteria and what you should look for when buying.

Material

When buying a rod holder, it is particularly important to take a closer look at the material. There is a selection of different materials from which a rod holder is made. A rod holder should be able to withstand all shore regions and weather conditions.
The most common materials are listed below:

  • Plastic
  • Rubber
  • Aluminium
  • Stainless steel

The plastic rod holder is easy to transport due to its weight, but it is also easily breakable and quickly bent in comparison. One advantage is that the rod holder is cheap to buy.

Rubber rod holders also belong to the cheaper class and are more flexible than the plastic rod holders. With rubber, you must also be aware that it is sensitive and quickly becomes brittle and cracked. If the rubber is exposed to strong UV rays, air pollutants or severe cold, the decay process accelerates and the rubber decomposes, changes colour or becomes brittle and disintegrates.

It is recommended to pay a little more money and opt for a stainless steel or aluminium version.

Both materials are very stable and robust. Rod holders made of these materials do not rust easily and thus retain their quality for a long time. If you want, you can also opt for a stainless steel rod holder with extra corrosion protection.

Adjustability

Before you buy a rod holder, you should make sure that it is easy to adjust. If you want to be flexible with your rod holder and place it in different locations, this adjustment should be a basic requirement for your purchase.

The adjustability of the legs and thus the height is important.

Depending on the type of rod holder, you should pay attention to what can be adjusted. With a ground spike, it is advantageous if it can be telescoped. This allows you to raise the spike or leave it short. If you don't want your rod to rest on the ground, this is a good option.

When using a boat holder, make sure that the thread is flexible. It should be possible to turn the thread 360 degrees so you can adjust the holder to your liking. This allows you to turn the rod holder in all directions and tilt the angle.

With the surf rod holder and rod pod, it is important that the legs are telescopic and that you can fold the legs to make them easier to carry.

Suitability for specific uses

First and foremost, you should think about where you want to take your rod holder. Depending on the water and the surface, there are suitable and unsuitable rod holders.

If you are fishing at sea or need a rod helper when wading, then a rod pod or surf rod holder is recommended. If you are fishing on the lake, a rod holder with a horizontal position is important. It's also important that you can adjust the height of your rod holder so you can fish from the far shore.

Pay attention to the type of surface you are fishing on.

You need to pay attention to the type of surface you are standing on. If you often fish on solid ground, clay or stone packs, then an earth spike will not help you. A rod pod would be the best solution, as it can stand stable on the ground with its usually three or four legs.

If you are fishing from a boat, canoe or kayak, then you should definitely opt for a boat rod holder. You can simply attach the boat rod holder to the railing. If you rent a boat, make sure you don't have to screw the holder in every time. If you know exactly where you want the rod to be in your boat, you can choose a rod holder that is fixable.

The size of the clamp opening / inner diameter

The size of the clamp opening is only important for boat rod holders, as these are clamped or screwed to the railing. You should know what diameter you need to ensure a suitable and stable positioning.

The boat rod holders can be attached directly to the railing as clamps.

It is important to pay attention to the inner diameter of the clamps and whether they fit on your own railing.

There is also a holder where the clamps are screwed on. Here you should also pay attention to how far the clamps can be screwed on.

In both cases, the quality is also decisive for the longevity of the rod holder. The clamps of the rod holders are subjected to a lot of stress and should have a certain stability and flexibility.

Number of rods

Before you buy a rod holder, think about whether one rod holder is enough for one fishing rod. There are rod holders with which you can set up several fishing rods at the same time, as they have several rod rests.

Tripods are particularly suitable for this purpose, as they have a certain stability and can therefore carry several fishing rods more easily.

Suitability for particular fish

Before you buy a rod holder, think about what fish you want to fish for. Depending on the fish species preference, you should take a closer look at the rod holders.

For particularly heavy fish, such as catfish or catfish catfish, it is especially important to make sure that the rod holder can withstand a lot of load. Catfish can weigh up to 45 kilograms. The rod holder must not collapse when it is subjected to a few blows.

For feeder fishing (where mostly peaceful fish are fished) there are special rod rests, usually made of foam, to protect the rod blank. The support has several notches for positioning the rod.

Consider whether you want to fish for heavy or light fish. There are rod holders to suit each size.

Pose fishing (fishing for both peaceful fish and predators) does not require a rod holder, but it can certainly be supported by one. You can lay down the fishing line and prevent it from tangling.

Decision: What types of rod holders are there and which one is right for me?

If you want to buy a rod holder, there are four types of products to choose from:

type advantages disadvantages
ground spikes price, fishing spots can be chosen at will not suitable for every type of ground, few extra functions
surf rod holder suitable for every type of ground, storage of several rods possible high price, heavy weight
Rod Pods stability, electronic bite indicator can be mounted high price, you are tied to one fishing spot
Boat rod holder low price, easy to use can only be used on boats, does not fit every spot on the boat

Each type of rod holder has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you know exactly how you like to fish, the table will help you find the rod holder that suits you.

Erdspieß

Ground spike

The ground spike can be thought of as a branch fork. As an angler, you have probably often used a branch fork to rest your fishing rod on. The ground spike, also called a bankstick, has a relatively similar appearance.

Advantages
  • Price
  • Easy to use
  • Flexible spot selection
Disadvantages
  • not suitable for every surface
  • limited functionality

The ground stake is anchored into the ground and can therefore provide a very good hold when it reaches a certain depth in the ground. It is one of the cheapest types of rod holders.

If you have a ground stake, you have to place the handle of your fishing rod on the ground. If you have two ground spikes, you can also place the rod handle on the ground spike. With ground spikes, you have the flexibility to decide which fishing spots you place your rod on. You can spread the spikes out and fish at different spots at the same time.

The disadvantage of ground spikes is that they are only beneficial for a certain type of ground. If you are fishing on rocky ground or on jetties, an earth spike will not be of much use.

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Surf rod holder

Surf rod holders are also called tripods or tripod rod holders in German. This type of rod holder is mainly used for surf fishing, hence the name.

Advantages
  • applicable to any ground
  • space to lay down several rods
  • flexible transport
Disadvantages
  • Price
  • Weight

The advantage of surf rod holders is that they can be used on different bottoms. If the ground is too soft or too hard to hold a ground rod, then you have a clear advantage with a tripod. Thanks to its three legs, it can be set up stably on many surfaces.

With a tripod, you can usually put down at least two rods and bring more fish to shore at the same time. It is adjustable and you can also set up your rods horizontally. Fishing in open water is made easier with a tripod.

You can fold the legs of the tripod, making it very easy to transport, which is not possible with normal ground spikes. However, it weighs more. For these advantages, you also have to spend a little more money, because the surf rod holder is one of the more expensive models of rod holders.

Rod Pod

Rod Pod

The Rod Pod is the most expensive model of rod holder and belongs to the more modern version of fishing. It usually has four legs and the possibility to carry three or four fishing rods. The Rod Pod is popular with carp anglers.

Advantages
  • Height adjustable
  • stability due to four legs
  • can be set up on any surface
  • mounting of an electronic bite indicator possible
Disadvantages
  • Price
  • no free choice of fishing spots possible
  • weight

Like the Tripod, the Rod Pod allows you to set up your rod vertically without having to lie on the ground. With the Rod Pod you have the possibility to adjust the height of the legs individually and thus create more stability even on uneven ground and fish regardless of the shore distance. Thanks to the high-quality material, you can also set up your pod in the water.

As the Rod Pod is quite modern, you can easily install an electronic bite indicator on the rod holder. The bite indicator will alert you when something is on your fishing line. You can also attach a swinger to your rod pod.

The disadvantage here is also the high price and the limited choice of fishing spots. The Rod Pod weighs more compared to ground spikes.

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Boat rod holder

Boat rod holders are suitable if you want to fish from the boat. You can easily attach it to the railing and lay down your rod. The advantages of the boat rod holder are that it is quite small and compact.

Advantages
  • Price
  • Easy to use
  • Compact size
Disadvantages
  • only suitable for boats
  • may not fit every part of the boat

You can adjust the angle of the rods on good boat mounts and either attach them directly with the clamp hole. High-quality boat holders are easy to attach with screw clamps. Boat rod holders are cheaper than tripods or rod pods and they are very easy to set up.

However, you cannot use boat holders in many ways. When fishing on solid ground, a different rod holder must be purchased. It is also important to pay attention to where you want to mount the holder, as it might not fit. For inflatable boats, there must be a device for boat rod holders.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about rod holders answered in detail

You want to buy a rod holder, but you don't know exactly where to start? We help you with our rod holder guide to create some order and have answered the most important questions about rod holders. The guide should help you make your decision to buy a rod holder easier.

What is a rod holder?

As the name suggests, a rod holder is a holder for your fishing rods. If you don't want to hold the rod all the time yourself, the rod holder can help you. The usual rod holder usually consists of a rod that you can push into the ground and a V-shaped holder for the rod.

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A rod holder makes it possible to lay down several fishing rods.
( Image source: Zdeněk Chalupský /pixabay)

There are different types of rod holders. The main types include the ground rod, the boat holder, the surf holder and the rod pod. If you like to fish for catfish, you should take a closer look at special catfish rod holders that can hold more weight.

For more information on which rod holder is right for you, see the chapter "Deciding which type of rod holder is right for you": What types of rod holders are there and which one is right for me?"

Who is a rod holder suitable for?

Rod holders are suitable for anyone who likes to stand on the water and fish for a longer period of time. Since it can be quite exhausting for many to hold the fishing rod for hours, the rod holder is the perfect solution. A rod holder takes over this task for you and you can sit back and wait for the fish to bite.

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Ground spike rod holders are suitable for flexible positioning of fishing rods.
(Image source: Daniel Steinke/pixabay)

Whether for hobby anglers or professional anglers, a rod holder is recommended for anyone who likes to take a breather while fishing. You can choose whether you need a single or multiple rod holders.

It is also important to consider for which waters or fish species you need your rod holder. There is a suitable rod holder for every area of use and for special fish.

What does a rod holder cost?

The price range of rod holders varies depending on the type and quality. The prices of rod holders can start at two euros and go up to 500 euros. The type of rod holder largely determines the price. Any additional functions and the quality make the price rise further.

You can buy ground spikes for as little as two euros. You can buy a cheap rod pod for as little as 40 euros, but they are made of plastic.

Art Price
Earth spikes approx. 2 - 80 euros
Surf rod holders approx. 15 - 130 euros
Rod pods approx. 40 - 500 euros
Boat rod holders approx. 15 - 140 euros

The price range for rod pods is very wide. The cheapest model comes with plastic legs. It is well suited for beginners. The more expensive versions are usually made of high-quality stainless steel, have more functions and are much larger. The surf rod holder can be bought in aluminium alloy for as little as about 15 euros. Here, too, size and quality determine the price.

Boat holders differ mainly in quality. You can buy a plastic holder for about 15 euros, while a high-quality stainless steel holder starts at about 40 euros.

What are the alternatives to a rod holder?

There are not many alternatives to a rod holder. The only one would be to use the usual branch fork or to lay the rod on the ground.

What kind of threads do rod holders have?

The threads are usually the same on all rod holders.

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A rod holder helps you to lay down your fishing rod safely.
(Image source: aranha/pixabay)

It is usually a Whithworth thread 3/8". This means you have an outer diameter of 9.53 cm.

What rod holder extras are available? (bite indicator, buzzer bar)

You can buy some extras for your rod holders. Depending on the type you have chosen.

  • The bite indicator can be mounted on a rod pod. The electronic bite indicator alerts you as soon as it senses movement on your fishing rod. With the help of a good receiver you can see what is happening with your rod from a distance. This means that if you need to go to the toilet or get something to eat, you don't have to worry about missing anything.
  • The buzzer bar helps you put down multiple rods. The buzzer bar has a special support for it. It can be mounted on ground spikes, but also on rod pods and tripods. It has several threads and allows you to install a bite indicator.

How do I mount rod holders on the car roof?

There is also the possibility of mounting rod holders on the roof of your car, making it easier to transport the holders in the car. There are various systems that are suitable for this. It is important to make sure that they fit your type of car.

There are holders where the holder is stuck to the window pane with suction cups and attached to the car's handles.

The other version can be placed between the headrests.

You can also mount your rods on the wall using the appropriate wall rod holders.

What is the use of a rod holder with automatic stop?

The rod holder with automatic stop not only holds your rod, but also strikes it when a fish bites. For you, this means that once you have set up your rod holder and placed your rod on it, you don't have to do much more.

The rod is placed on the rod stop and the spring system is tensioned. The tension can be adjusted depending on the water. When the fish grabs, the device strikes and does not let go of the fish.

However, since many anglers like to do this part of the fishing themselves, an automatic stop is not very popular.

Image source: Khabliuk/ 123rf.com

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